ampr march 2018 update

April 10th, 2018

What’s New?

The Lowell’s ever-popular Pembroke Room, known for its chic Afternoon Tea and polished service, is relaunching in April 2018 – complete with a new outdoor terrace for alfresco brunching.

PONANT announces the first electric hybrid Icebreaker ship coming in 2021, which will safely cut through ice flow up to eight feet thick and travel to the true geographic North Pole (at 90 degrees North Latitude).

andBeyond Phinda Homestead in KwaZulu-Natal will reopen on September 1, 2018 after a complete rebuild. This standalone safari lodge allows travelers a completely private safari experience, ideal for family or group travel – no sharing safari vehicles and total control over the day’s schedule.

From March 1 through April 30, The Dupont Circle in Washington DC is celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival with a special ‘In Full Bloom’ package including a stay at the hotel, the chef’s cherry blossom themed welcome amenity, a $25 dining credit, and complimentary valet parking.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort has officially opened two of the five ultra-luxe Beachfront Collection residences. Images of the new homes – complete with infinity pools and floor-to-ceiling glass windows – are available for stays now.

Domaine de Manville in the heart of Provence received its first Michelin Star for its restaurant, l’Aupiho, helmed by Chef Matthieu Dupuis Baumal.

Vista Collina Resort in Napa is projected to open Summer 2018 and will feature 145 guestrooms. Adjacent to the property will be the Village, featuring nine tastings room, a food and wine center, and a 16,000 square foot lawn for concerts and events.

Jamaica’s GoldenEye launches veggie cocktails, featuring local produce from Pantrepant, the hotel’s farm. New elixirs include: the Cucumber Martini; Beetroot, Bourbon, and Scotch bonnet cocktail; and the Arugula and Celery Sour.

Royal Mansour Spa has unveiled a new series of bespoke hammam treatments where each step of the hammam process can be customized beginning with three types of body wraps, two types of kessa gloves, and a variety of Leonor Greyl shampoos for varying hair types.

Belmond has expanded its Italian portfolio with the acquisition of Castello di Casole, a historic castle hotel in the heart of rural Tuscany. The intimate 39-room hotel sits within 4,200 acres of farmland, vineyards, and olive groves – one of the largest private estates in Italy.

Travel to Brazil is easier than ever with a newly-launched e-visa system for American travelers To make the most of a Brazilian vacation, travelers can book Belmond’s ‘Grand Tour of Brazil’ – a five-night itinerary that includes the brand’s properties on Copacabana Beach and in Iguassu falls – or go off-the-beaten-path with a visit to UXUA on the remote shores of Trancoso.

Strawless and Flawless

Hotels are eschewing plastic straws for more sustainable options like paper or bamboo. According to The Last Plastic Straw project, 500 million straws are used and thrown away every day in the US, which is about 175 billion per year.

Nayara Springs, set on the fringes of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano, only uses bamboo straws across the property’s restaurants and bars – mixologist Monica Gonzalez is on-hand to whip up poolside cocktails made with local fruits.

The Doyle Collection’s London hotels (The Marylebone, The Kensington, and The Bloomsbury) just officially became plastic-straw-free and are now moving to roll out this policy brand-wide, from Dublin to Cork to Washington DC.

andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp and the new andBeyond Bateleur Camp (reopening this month after a complete renovation), both on Kenya’s Masai Mara, have discontinued all plastic straw usage – falling into line with their ethos: care of the land, care of the wildlife, care of the people.

Go Global with Locals


andBeyond’s new philanthropic-focused itineraries in Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa give guests first-hand experiences with the locals in the community, like participating in school conservation lessons in Tanzania.

Guests of Nayara Springs can visit the source of the resort’s chocolate at a local farm. The owners will teach travelers the process of chocolate-making.

During PONANT’s voyages through the Northwest Passage, guests will have opportunity to meet with locals in charming Inuit villages to learn about the culture.

Majestic Hotel & Spa has an exclusive relationship with local marine biologist Anna Bozzano, the only tour guide approved to visit the Barcelona Fish Market where she teaches about the market’s innerworkings.

Connecting guests with the local community is elemental to every Belmond experience. Highlights include art lessons with Jose Luis Arias, a graduate of the local Instituto Allende, at the newly renovated Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, and a walking tour with a former prison guard of Nelson Mandela’s that begins at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.

Sugar Beach guests who hike the Gros Piton follow a guide from the local village up the two-hour climb.

Over-the-top Amenities

Guests at La Réserve Paris can create their ownbespoke scent with the help of a professional ‘nose.’

Thanks to Kinloch Anderson, kilt maker to Her Royal Highness the Queen, travelers on Belmond Royal Scotsman are swept to the showroom for a private fitting, and a fully customized kilt arrives at their doorstep 8-10 weeks later in the family tartan or a pattern from the train. During their journey, guests will find a complimentary set of Highland Dress (kilts for men, skirts for women) awaiting them in their train cabin.

One of the new Beachfront Collection residences available to buy or book for stay at St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach will have a waterslide connecting an infinity pool to a lower level hot tub and yoga deck.

Guests who book the top, three-bedroom suite at the White Elephant, White Elephant Village or The Wauwinet will receive the keys to a BMW for the duration of their stay.

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is the first property in Bermuda to offer two-seat, electric Renault Twizy vehicles to guests, designed by Renault’s Formula One racing team and can travel up to 50 miles on a single charge.

At andBeyond Mnemba Island, instead of your typical tray of room service arriving in your room, the lodge will dig a custom “sand castle” dining room on the beach in front of your suite and serve freshly caught seafood surrounded by lantern light.

Located on the shores of Lac Léman, La Réserve Geneva has its very own Venetian Motoscafo boat that takes guests to go to and from the city center.

Majestic Hotel & Spa’s Royal Penthouse Suite – the largest suite in Barcelona – is home to a Bar Au Parfum stocked with five 200 ml bottles of Atelier Cologne, available for use throughout the stay. Guests can take home a complimentary leather case, engraved with their name and filled with 30ml sized bottles of each of the colognes.

Calendar

April

April 2018: Belmond La Residencia will unveil a new suite created by fashion designer Matthew Williamson.

April 2018: Belmond will add two new barges to its Belmond Afloat in France fleet. The two “floating hotels” will travel the rivers of Champagne and Alsace

April 2018: The Pembroke Room at The Lowell completes a renovation

April 7-17, 2018: andBeyond’s Eat, Pray and Love journey departs in India

April 28-29, 2018: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda will serve as the official host hotel for the ITU World Triathlon, the first time it is held in Bermuda

May

May 4, 2018: In honor of its 100th anniversary, Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona will serve a new pre-fixe dinner replicating the hotel’s original restaurant menus

May 19, 2018: The Royal Wedding will be screened all day at The Kensington in London

May 25, 2018: La Maison du Chocolat’s Bien Être collection is available in boutiques and online

June

June 10, 2018: Sterling Vineyard’s 2nd Annual RoseFest will feature 30+ Napa Valley rose tastings with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation

June 15-16, 2018: In honor of the Nantucket Boat Basin’s 50th anniversary, the marina will host its first-ever Father’s Day Fishing Tournament where teams will compete for the top title in categories such as heaviest fish and most fish caught

ampr february 2018 update

February 5th, 2018

What’s New

Travelers can take on the trending neighborhood of Shinjuku in Tokyo with Park Hyatt Tokyo’s original English Shinjuku area map designed by Japanese fashion illustrator, Hiroshi Watatani. Guests can navigate the winding alleys and track down the best (and often hidden) pint-sized bars, restaurants, and shops per the map’s insider advice.

As part of the final phase of the renovation that doubled the property’s footprint, Royal Mansour will open their new Kid’s Club in Le Jardin this month.

Former Rockette-turned-celebrity fitness trainer, Amanda Kloots is heading to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort this month to lead fitness classes under St. Lucia’s shady palms. Amanda will teach her signature classes The Dance and The Body, the same workouts she does with her celebrity clients like Zendaya, Hannah Bronfman, and Zach Braff.

andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge will reopen in June 2018 in South Africa after a complete refurbishment, inspired by the plantation-style homesteads of KwaZulu-Natal’s sugar cane and pineapple barons.

Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is launching ‘Slow Beauty’ wellness retreats in April 2018, including a workshop on the health benefits of Mayan-inspired rituals, a bicycle tour through the Mayan jungle, and a Shaman ceremony on the beach. The retreat will focus on anti-aging daily rituals that allow for personal reflection and connecting with the mind, body, and soul.

PONANT is introducing a new itinerary ‘Green and Gentle Lands: Exploring Gardens and Historic Sites,’ including special access at Kew Gardens and Chelsea Physic Garden and a gala luncheon at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. The journey departs May 14-22, 2019 sailing to the British Isles, Belgium, and Norway.

La Réserve Genève is offering a special package for the Geneva International Motor Show, March 8-18, 2018. The offer includes a stay in a superior room, daily breakfast, entry to the show, and transfer to/from the Palexpo convention center in a Bentley Flying Spur or Bentayga.

Napa Valley’s Ink House opened as a four-bedroom Inn in January 2018. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the property was first built in 1885 by prominent Napa farmer, Theron Ink as a single-family home.

Bermuda’s Hamilton Princess & Beach Club now offers complimentary BMW bicycles for guests to explore the town and waterfront.

Laces and Limos provides a new Napa Valley winery tour experience with its fleet of eco-friendly electric Tuk Tuk vehicles.

Isn’t It Romantic?

Adventurous couples on andBeyond’s 11-day Romantic East Africa safari sleep in cozy stilted treehouse suites at andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, picnic on Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater floor, stargaze on the Serengeti plains, and swim with dolphins at andBeyond Mnemba Island off the coast of Zanzibar.

Couples at the adults-only Nayara Springs indulge in a private romantic dinner in their own newly-built stone pavilion tucked amongst the flora and fauna of Costa Rica’s rainforest – complete with a personal chef and specially-designed gourmet menu, featuring herbs and vegetables grown on-property and cheese sourced from the nearby dairy farm.

Valentines can laze in bed all day with special his and hers Valentine’s Day pajamas with The Lowell’s Valentine’s Day package.

Park Hyatt Tokyo’s Pastry Boutique will offer an array of Valentine’s chocolates and sweets for 2018 – from sake truffles to apple-shaped cakes to rose petal macarons. The goodies have a longer shelf life as in Japan, the holiday White Day follows Valentine’s Day (where boys are expected to give sweets to the girls who gifted them Valentine’s Day treats).

La Réserve Paris is celebrating the holiday with a Valentine’s Day Offer, including a complimentary upgrade, Champagne, and a surprise VIP welcome in the room, followed by dinner at the two-Michelin-starred Le Gabriel.

Domaine de Manville is welcoming guests with a couple’s spa treatment including a relaxing bath, followed by Champagne, and capped off with a five-course caviar dinner at La Table.

For a night out on Broadway, The Chatwal offers its guests two tickets to the Tony-Award-winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical with a three-course, pre-theater dinner at The Lambs Club and a ‘Beauty’ manicure at The Chatwal’s Red Door Spa by Elizabeth Arden.

Royal Mansour’s ‘St. Valentine’s Stay’ package includes a three-night stay in a one-bedroom Riad and a Valentine’s themed dinner at La Table. Guests can relax with a spa treatment for two in the hotel’s three-story spa in the privacy of their own Spa Suite, featuring a hammam, a plunge pool with a terrace, and a relaxation area.

Belmond Charleston Place Hotels ‘Glamorous Getaway’ package is perfect for a Galentine’s Day in the heart of downtown Charleston. It includes accommodations on the hotel’s privately-accessed Club Level, with full access to the two-story Club Lounge and its complimentary all-day food and beverages, and a $50 toward the new in-house Elysium Salon.

Take a private sabrage lesson with Verve Napa Valley. Learn the ancient art form and how to sabre a bottle of sparkling wine.

Enjoy a sunset picnic for two at Firefly, Noel Coward’s former hilltop home, offering the best views of the sunset in Jamaica.

A Special-tea Offer

andBeyond takes travelers to the family-run Glenburn Tea Plantation, set against the back drop of the Himalayas, to witness a tea harvesting and brewing from start-to-finish – from the withering, rolling, fermenting, drying, and sorting of tea leaves to a tea tasting along the banks of the River Rungeet.

Belmond British Pullman is hosting themed Paddington Afternoon Tea journeys in honor of the movie release of Paddington 2. While onboard the 1920s and 30s carriages – which are featured in the movie – parents and their little cubs will be treated to live musical entertainment along with an array of sweet and savory snacks including mini-cakes and marmalade sandwiches.

For Park Hyatt Tokyo’s proprietary blends of tea, the leaves are picked from the hotel’s very own plot 300 miles away in the Inokura tea fields in the city of Nara with exclusively-grown black, green, and oolong teas.

Inspired by the movie release of Beauty and the Beast, Town House at The Kensington in London is offering a ‘Tale as Old as Time’ Afternoon Tea, with Mrs. Potts and Chip Potts dishware, a Cogsworth Chocolate Tart, and a Lumière White Chocolate Mousse.

The Pembroke Rooms Afternoon Tea at The Lowell is one of New York City’s best kept secrets and has a Tea Sommelier to help guests choose their perfect match from over 15 teas on the menu. The blends are sourced from French purveyor Dammann Frères and are paired with traditional English tea sandwiches, caviar blinis, and foie gras canapés.

The famous afternoon tea at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town offers a range of teas from around the world, including the hotel’s very own Mount Nelson Tea – a blend of six teas from India, China, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and rose petals from the hotel’s own signature pink roses.

Majestic Hotel & Spa is launching a dedicated Vegan Afternoon Tea in February, featuring mini almond mousse, Gianduja chocolate short bread with confit lemon, and a Majestic vegan cookie.

Spring Break Ideas for the Family

In Paddington’s homeland of Peru, Belmond has created new four- and seven-night itineraries that include family-friendly activities such as bear-shaped cookie making, a Paddington-themed movie-under-the-stars night, afternoon tea in a secret garden, and of course plenty of marmalade to go around.

The Chatwal welcomes its ViBabies to New York with new amenities designed to help the youngest VIP guests and their parents travel in comfort and style. Delivered in a cherry-red Margherita Missoni backpack, ViBabies will receive an Honest Oh Baby! Kit filled with a line of all-organic toiletries, a Chatwal Charlie plush toy, a bedtime story book, and a menu of organic baby purées curated by The Lambs Club.

andBeyond Bateleur Camp on the Masai Mara will reopen with a new family suite in March, just in time for spring break. The littlest andBeyond travelers can enroll in the WILDchild program for fun (and educational) safari activities with the rangers, such as Maasai obstacle courses and building a fire the Maasai way (and of course roasting marshmallows) – a scrapbook is on hand to document their memories in the bush.

Explore the streets of Barcelona with Majestic Hotel & Spa’s scooter program, offering folding scooters and helmets (both child- and adult-size), a backpack with water and snacks, and an iPad loaded with themed maps and itineraries. For extra credit, families can select the Spanish language tour option to take in La Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila in the native tongue.

From ziplining to kayaking to nature and waterfall hikes, Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens is the adventure-packed vacation of every kid’s dreams. Families can explore the Arenal Volcano, with all its flora and fauna (including Nayara’s sloth sanctuary), by foot – or add a little thrill via bike, horseback, or ATV.

Nantucket’s White Elephant offers the Mini Chef program, where children are invited to decorate cupcakes and cookies in 45-minute weekly sessions. For a fun night in at the hotel, children can snuggle up in kid-sized robes and have an in-room camp-out, complete with teepees and faux, indoor campfires.

St. Lucia’s Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort’s Sugar Club and Spice Club offer kids and teens their own version of paradise. The Sugar Club welcomes children ages 4-12 and offers treasure hunts, arts and crafts, and coconut bowling, while the Spice Club caters to teens and tweens with ping pong, croquet, pool tournaments, and pinball machines, as well as a sailing school.

Jamaica’s GoldenEye was the former home of Ian Fleming and the site where he penned all 14 James Bond novels. His gardener, Ramsey Dacosta, still works on the property and leads activities, including coconut carving and nature walks for children.

While Napa Valley is famous for wine, the region has plenty to offer to families. Sign up for a tour of the Castello di Amorosa, a 13th-century Tuscan castle and winery perched on a hill just south of Calistoga, where kids can sip on grape juice. Stroll di Rosa, a museum where families can participate in activities including painting portraits.

Calendar

March

March 2018: andBeyond Bateleur Camp reopens after an extensive renovation on the Maasai Mara

March 4, 2018: The Napa Valley Marathon celebrates its 40th anniversary

March 6-18, 2018: andBeyond’s Snow Leopard Expedition departs in the Himalayas

March 21, 2018: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express launches new Grand Suites

April

April 2018: The Pembroke Room at The Lowell completes a renovation

April 7-17, 2018: andBeyond’s Eat, Pray and Love journey departs in India

April 20, 2018: La Réserve Ramatuelle will re-open for the season with renovated villas

April 22-25, 2018: Domaine de Manville is introducing a new, three-day wedding workshop with Style Me Pretty editor Stephanie Weers and photographer Tamara Gruner

April 28-29, 2018: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda will serve as the official host hotel for the ITU World Triathlon, the first time it is held in Bermuda

May

May 2018: La Maison du Chocolat’s Bien Être collection is available in boutiques and online

May 16-20, 2018: Nantucket Wine Festival will feature more than 600 wines from 150 global wineries

 

International Yoga Day

June 17th, 2016

On June 21st, yogis from around the world will come together to celebrate International Yoga Day. While yoga’s easy enough to practice on your own or at your local gym, we’ve been looking for some of the coolest places to find your inner Zen. Here are just a few spots that can’t be beat:

On a Rooftop in Barcelona

At the Majestic Hotel & Spa in Barcelona, you can practice yoga on the roof with panoramic views of the city from the hotel’s prime location on Passeig de Gracia. From there, you’ll see Barcelona’s famous mountains and Gaudi’s modernistic Sagrada Familia, all while staying above the bustle of city life. The Majestic Hotel & Spa offers both group classes and private lessons that can be adapted for any level of experience.

Above the Jungle in Bali

At COMO Shambhala Estate, you can take complimentary classes or schedule private yoga lessons in a studio overlooking the Bali forests and mountains. There they practice Hatha Yoga, which combines asanas (postures), better breathing, and meditation. At COMO Shambhala Estate, a 23-acre property set on the River Ayung, yoga is just one part of the holistic wellness regime that begins the moment you set foot on the grounds.

On a Private Beach in Turks and Caicos

At COMO Parrot Cay, yoga classes are offered right on the beach. There’s nothing like the sound of the surf to soothe your senses and get you in a meditative state of mind, and the resort’s location on a private island is the ideal place to find inner peace. The only thing better than Yoga Day is five yoga days, COMO Parrot Cay offers five-day yoga retreats with top instructors like America’s Rodney Yee to allow you to fully dive into the experience.

In the Rainforest in Costa Rica

Nayara Springs has a pavilion set in the heart of the Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica, where you can relax and enjoy one of the many complimentary group yoga classes or a private yoga lesson with an experienced instructor. When you’re completely surrounded by the forest and fresh air, listening to the humming birds sing, and feeling the warm Costa Rican sun on your body, you’ll feel at peace with the world.


nisantasi shopping district: the best of the best

July 20th, 2012

Left photo courtesy of Visit2Instanbul.com

Shortly after Istanbul’s historic Nisantasi neighborhood was settled by palace staff and members of royalty from the Topkapi Palace, the area began to thrive.  With its immaculate reputation favored by the upper echelons of Turkey, Nisantasi has continued living up to its legacy and is still one of the most glamorous and preferred neighborhoods in Istanbul.

From luxurious boutiques to internationally acclaimed fashion designers such as Prada, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and more, Nisantasi is Istanbul’s trendiest shopping district.  Out of the four main avenues in the district, New York Times writer Kavitha Rao shares some of the most popular shops in the area, many of which are popular among top fashion icons such as supermodel Gisele Bündchen and actress Meg Ryan.

After a long – but so worth it – day of shopping in one of the most famous areas in the world, give your feet a break and head to Park Hyatt Istanbul, conveniently located in the heart of Nisantasi.  Better than a home away from home, Park Hyatt Istanbul provides all the relaxation activities one expects from a Park Hyatt, including an outdoor pool, luxurious spa, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.  After some down time, indulge in some cocktails, tapas, and outstanding meals at Park Hyatt’s restaurant, lounge, terrace, and wine bar.

expert how-to: avoid sun damage and still get tan

July 19th, 2012

Yes, everyone looks better with a golden glow. The drawback is that spending hours in the sun takes a toll on skin. We asked Guinot’s Director of Education and keeper of myriad beauty secrets, Elizabeth Murchison, for her tips on how to protect your skin (and still look fabulous!).

What does sun exposure do to your skin?

Sun exposure causes pigmentation and uneven skin, ages the skin, and could cause serious problems such as skin cancer.

What’s the best way to fight sun damage? (Okay, this was an easy one!)

The best ways to fight sun damage is to apply an SPF of 15, 20, or 30 approximately 20 minutes before leaving your home (the actives need time to settle in the skin). If you are planning on being out for a day at the beach, running errands, or taking a fun walk in the neighborhood, you should apply your SPF every two hours as sun protection has minimized.

What is the best way to look tan without damaging your skin? (more…)

guinot’s new secret weapon for late nights

July 18th, 2012

Over time, the effects of ageing, stress, poor diet, smoking, and lack of sleep all become visible on the face, causing the skin to lose its vitality and radiance and reveal signs of fatigue. In just three minutes, Guinot’s newest product, Masque Dynamisant, will combat this problem by not only renewing the skin’s natural radiance, but also revitalizing, moisturizing, and illuminating the skin for a burst of energy for the face.

  • The combination of mint and eucalyptus essential oils refreshes the skin to restore radiance and vitality.
  • AHA Complex eliminates dead skin cells and brings forth new cells to illuminate the skin.
  • Dynalift, or Sorghum extract, forms a film which coats and visibly lifts the skin’s surface.
  • Lift Firming Complex combats skin laxity, creating an instant and intense firming effect.
  • All the while skin is moisturized with Guinot’s Hydrocyte Complex, the biological moisture source that actively hydrates cells at each level of the skin, leaving faces feeling supple and refreshed.

Perfect for a quick fix after a late night, give the skin’s complexion a boost of radiance and return to work looking and feeling refreshed. The Masque Dynamisant is also paraben-free and has not been tested on animals.

TO USE:

Apply on the face morning and/or evening, taking care to avoid the eye contour. Leave on for at least three minutes, but no longer than 10 minutes.

Masque Dynamisant comes in a 1.6oz tube and is priced at $39. Guinot products are carried in over 1,000 spas and salons within the US.  To locate a spa, visit www.GuinotUSA.com.

summer savior

June 28th, 2012

Who wants to carry an extra weekend bag just for beauty products? Forget loading up on waxy drugstore specials and simply tote around ESPA’s Pink Hair and Scalp Mud, the classic summer savior. This hero product is a super multi-tasker and can tackle a handful of summer beauty woes. Along with the rest of the newly reformulated ESPA products, the new Pink Hair and Scalp Mud is 99% natural and free of synthetic color, fragrance, and parabens, phthalates, DEA, TEA, mineral oil, SLS and SLES, silicone, propylene glycol, and petrolatum.

Hair

This is the Mud’s first concern. Hair tends to dry out in the summer. Too much salt, sand, sun, and chlorine are the culprits. Slather some of this nourishing pink balm on dry or damp hair, then go about your business (clean the apartment, paint your nails, catch up on the latest celebrity gossip…). Leave it on for at least 20 minutes, then rinse. You’ll immediately feel how much healthier, smoother, and softer your hair is when you start to rinse it off. You can also comb it through hair before sunbathing or swimming to protect from damaging chlorine, UV rays, and environmental pollutants.

Legs

Did you get to the share house and realize you didn’t bring any shaving cream? The Pink Hair and Scalp Mud makes an excellent shave mud! Shaving cream can actually dry out your skin, so for a closer shave and a softer, more moisturized end result, the mud is perfect.

Sunburn (more…)

the height of relaxation

June 20th, 2012

Located on the scenic shores of Lake Lucerne and surrounded by the idyllic Alpine landscape, the legendary Palace Luzern is now offering the SPAtacular Rooftop Experience – just for the ladies. Available everyday from 11:00am to 3:00pm, up to four women can book the Palace rooftop terrace for an afternoon of pampering, complete with a bottle of champagne, strawberries, and a total of three wellness treatments per person. As it is the only spa in the area offering this type of experience, indulge in the breathtaking views and fresh Alpine air along with a preparing facial mask, full body peel, and comforting after-sun treatment.

Price: Total of 790 Swiss Francs (approximately US$820) for up to four women.

 

travel back to the 16th century in istanbul

June 14th, 2012

Photos courtesy of TreeHugger.com and Park Hyatt Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey offers the perfect mix of an urban city center with rich, beautiful history that dates back centuries.  That history comes to life through the breath-taking Mosques and architecture of Sinan, the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire.  The Park Hyatt Istanbul offers you a luxurious room to come home to after your day of traveling back in time – the first mosque is located just fifteen minutes away from the hotel!

You can begin your journey at the Sehzade Mosque, just as Sinan did.  This was one of his first mosques built, finished in 1548, and is perfect from the exterior.  However, Sinan placed the entrance in the center of the mosque to create symmetry, which created a passageway right through the main prayer area.  Sinan recognized his mistake and did not make it again.

The next stop is at the Suleymaniye Mosque, the most famous in Istanbul.  It towers over the city above the Golden Horn.  Sinan built it atop a hill to give the illusion that the mosque is floating – an effect that can only be captured in person.  The mosque just reopened after a full restoration and looks just like it did when Sinan and his team first constructed it!

Located right about the city’s lively Spice Market, the Rustem Pasha Mosque will be next on your itinerary and a perfect place to shop, eat, and meet the locals of this unique city. To avoid the crowd and bustle, two simple staircases lead you up to the beautiful and peaceful plaza that was built right outside of the mosque.  The Rustem Pasha Mosque is most famous for its striking and colorful use of Iznik tile on the interior.

Take a quick boat to discover two other unique mosques and the breathtaking view of Istanbul’s nearly 3,000 mosques that create the skyline.  Located on the island of Uskudar, the Semsi Pasha Mosque and Mihrimah Sultan I Mosque can only reached by boat.  Here, Sinan introduced the double porch to his new mosques and this new piece of architecture quickly spread throughout all of Europe.

Located three hours away from Istanbul, spend the day in Edirne to view what Sinan thought was his own masterpiece, the Selimiye Mosque. Formerly located in the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the mosque now stands majestically in the city center of Edirne.

After a long day of exploring, the Park Hyatt Istanbul is the perfect place to wind down. Not only does the hotel have its own historic architecture similar to what you just discovered (with its own innovative flare), a quick trip to The Spa will leave you refreshed and ready for your next day of exploration. Rates begin at $275 per night.

le petite prince (and princess)

May 30th, 2012

Been there, done that? This summer, embark on a different family-friendly getaway in Geneva, Switzerland, with La Réserve Genève.

Where: Nestled along the shores of Lake Geneva, La Réserve Genève, the contemporary five-star hotel with interiors by Jacques Garcia, features spacious rooms and suites, some even with separate kitchens and living and dining rooms – ideal for families.

Fun for the Little Ones: Younger guests can spend their days at La Petite Réserve, an en plein playground and tree house. Daily supervised age-appropriate activities and babysitting services are available for kids ages six months to 14 years and include tennis, golf, diving, sailing, wakeboarding, and swimming lessons. *

Fun for Adults: Parents can relax poolside indulging in a luxurious spa treatment using products such as La Prairie, enjoying an intimate meal at one of the property’s three restaurants, or cruising around Geneva in one of the hotel’s Tesla roadsters.

Fun Times Together: Geneva is home to a variety of family-friendly festivals this summer, including the Bol D’Or (June 15-17), in which 600 boats and yachts take to the waters of Lake Geneva in a contest for the Golden Cup, or the Fêtes de Genève (July 19 – August 12), one of the biggest events in Switzerland offering over 250 free concerts, crafts, food, and one of the largest musical firework shows in the world.

For more information about La Réserve Genève click here, or call +41 22 959 59 59.

*The kids program is offered Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. One week enrollment costs 1,200 CHF (approximately $1,322 USD).

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